Firefighter who serves as volunteer medic in spare time is a community hero

Stephen Mann, firefighter and CFR from Belchamp St Paul

Stephen Mann, firefighter and CFR from Belchamp St Paul - Credit: Archant

A one-man lifesaver has been hailed a hero for his dedication to the community he serves.

Stephen Mann, firefighter and CFR from Belchamp St Paul

Stephen Mann, firefighter and CFR from Belchamp St Paul - Credit: Archant

Firefighter Stephen Mann serves with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service for his ‘day job’, a role he has held for 20 years.

But when not on call to fight fires he is a community first responder for his home village of Belchamp St Paul, and the surrounding areas.

Mr Mann, 47, has already spent two years as a CFR in Hedingham and Yeldham, but was recently given the green light to go it alone in his home patch.

Since starting out on his own in April he has been dispatched almost 40 times and been on call for more than 1,100 hours in two months.

He said: “I live in an ageing community in the middle of nowhere. I think it’s important to have someone on hand who is properly trained and that has the equipment to be able to respond and do something to help the community.

“I like to think I’m giving something back.”

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CFRs are trained by the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust and dispatched to incidents to arrive before an ambulance or rapid response vehicle.

Mr Mann, who lives with wife Eleanor in Church Road, added: “I have been called out to everything – from someone with a burn to someone who is having a heart attack.

“Most of the village know I’m here. People are surprised at the speed I get to them and they are very grateful. It’s humbling to be appreciated.”

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